Worn by Karin Viard, Leïla Bekhti and Antoine Reinartz, “Sweet Song” is broadcast on CANAL +. For the occasion, return to the terrifying news item that inspired the novel from which the film is adapted.
Chanson Douce is broadcast on CANAL + and available on MyCANAL
Released at the end of 2019, Soft song sees Paul and Myriam, a young Parisian couple, hire an experienced nanny to take care of their children. If the latter shows herself, at first, devoted and conscientious, her reactions gradually become more and more disturbing … This intense drama, directed by Lucie Borleteau, is adapted from the bestseller of the same name by Leila Slimani (Goncourt prize 2016). To write this book, the novelist drew her inspiration from one of the most chilling news items.
In 2012, in a middle-class Manhattan apartment, two children were found dead in the bathroom, stabbed several times by their nanny Yoselyn Ortega. The latter, who has worked for their parents for two years, then tries to kill herself by slitting her throat, but survives. It is the mother, returning from the dance with her third child, who discovers the scene. The father is informed of the tragedy by the police at the airport, on his return from a business trip.
During Yoselyn Ortega’s trial, which lasts six weeks, her lawyers plead insanity, which does not prevent the jury from sentencing her to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The prosecutors insist on the coldness of the criminal and her will to kill. The reasons pushing Yoselyn Ortega to commit this act remain unclear, even if several tracks are mentioned: her conflictual relationship with her son, her money problems or her jealousy towards the couple.
Note also that Leïla Slimani has another news item in mind when she writes “Soft song” : in 1997, Louise Woodward, a young au pair, was arrested for shaking a baby in the American family where she worked. At the trial, her lawyer questioned the mother’s absenteeism, causing a vast debate on parental responsibility … The novelist also called the character of Karin Viard Louise in connection with the protagonist of this case.